Friday, May 17, 2013

No Day Is Safe from News of You

Dawn Potter

Morning breaks like glass.
I sidle through the kitchen,
naked as a hoptoad, but nary a glance
hipes my way.
My love, he loves me with an H; he feeds me
with hay and hieroglyphs. Hélas.

Cold wind blusters under a second-rate sun.
The speckled rooster hoicks his brag to heaven.
Our only news is bad news,
squawk his twelve insatiable hens.
Their feathers blow backward. In the patchy daylight
they shimmer like a straggle of dahlias.

Sing ho for the new year, croons the magazine to an empty room.
The stovepipe ticks,
but Nothing, nothing, nothing, says the clock.
My love, he loves me with an H; we breakfast
on hum-birds and humble pie,
though yesterday we ate husks.

Time flies! shouts the rooster, and the yeast agrees.
It swims in a blue bowl,
morning-glory blue, color of a blind eye.
Every headlong day my love’s heart sings,
Weariness, yes, weariness, and never enough cash.
O holy night-before-last, when it forgot the words,

when I dreamt of turrets and stairs. Only
the radio kept muttering the tune.

[first published in Poetry Salzburg, spring 2012; forthcoming in Same Old Story (CavanKerry Press, 2014)]


Christopher said...

You keep your edge on better than your clothes, Dawn -- that's why you're so self-conscious, and why it's lucky you're stuck way out there in Harmony, Maine -- and pushing 50, that's luck too. God forbid there was a Main Street anywhere near your property -- isn't that what a place way out in the woods like yours is called? "A property?"

Why, there'd be traffic pile-ups all over the place in a respectable neighborhood with real people, a warrant out for your arrest before the coffee even purpled!

No, no day is ever safe for you, which is why you're both bankrupted by so much too much to write about and at the same time everything you write is charged and paid for right on time. "Hoicks his brag to heaven" -- yikes!!!

Charged stuff, every word of it fine, fine, fine -- as well, of course, as friends with uncle geoffrey.

I admire and love you even as you admire and love Lulu, but my God you want to be careful about her, as if I have to tell you. Why, she'll eat the clothes right off your back, your that beautiful and terrible!

Thanks, dear friend -- joking aside, it's a mighty poem. It's a rumble!


Christopher said...

You're still stirring my pot.

I love the way you reply in the wildest, most unexpected ways. Your blog sequence is like radar echoing, a sun shower, thunder in the remotest valley beyond where I live. Everything I say you answer eventually, including the photos of your garden. Extreme humdrum horticulture for your H.

While in the mountains we went to see a shaman that Homprang regards as one of her most important teachers. He has a ritual knife made out of horn that he stabs and cuts and scraps away at you, and he blows on it between the strokes while looking away in the half-distance and muttering, obviously talking in two worlds at once. Your words blow on me in much the same way.

Which I guess is what I meant, and why I kept trying.

Dawn Potter said...

Of course I'm glad you like my poems, but my writing isn't as good as you make out. It's just regular striving, which is the point of trying to make art anyway, at least for those of us who aren't Shelley and Milton. Keats was a regular striver. Plath wasn't. My writing isn't as good as either of theirs, but on most mornings I can live with that.

Christopher said...

Good? Good? Good?

Give me a break -- what has good, better, best got to do with anything?

Like "I love you." Is that better said by Sappho, Cassanova, Gerard Depardieu, or George Clooney (never understood that last one, by the way)?" I love you from the person who loves you is greater than anything Keats ever said, and of course Sylvia Plath wasn't in a position to say any thing of the sort to anyone anyway, and Byron said it with genius and sincerity to almost every woman he ever met, and you-know-who even better!

"No Day Is Safe from News of You" is true if you're on the receiving end of such news. And would you have it any other way?

But seriously , Dawn -- in addition to all that, it's a very exciting and accomplished poem, and as this blog will always be part of it's pedigree, why it's already history!

Like "Sailing to Byzaantium." Would anybody ever have suspected that one day it would be regarded as quite good? In praise of mechanical eternity? Wind-up transcendence?

And yet because of what we've been through with it, everything we need to know is right there, and I love it inordinately!!